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Our 6 month male lab is jumping/nipping/humping...at the same time.

Discussion in 'Labrador behaviour' started by Aideen Gleeson, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Aideen Gleeson

    Aideen Gleeson Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2019
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    Hi,
    Firstly, thank you for this site, I have found it invaluable since we first brought Cooper home. The volume of articles is incredible and it is a great comfort to have so much information and advise at my finger tips.

    Our 6 month male lab, Cooper, has been jumping/nipping/humping myself and my son as soon as we come into his company. It’s not aggressive but it is quite franzied and his nips are painful and have left bruising.
    Cooper has been doing this to my son for about a month now and he started doing it to me about 2 weeks ago. As soon as we come into the kitchen he jumps and wraps his paws around us, nips our arms and then tries to hump. It’s gotten to the stage that when ever we don’t have our attention on him fully with commands he does it again. He was also doing this to my 10 year old daughter but he is so big and strong that we only have her in his company when he is getting stuck into a Kong, out on a walk or sleepy in the evening.
    We have finished our first round of puppy training and we are going to sign up to the next round of training next month. We have his commands really fluid; sit, down, stay, come, leave it, thank you, look, fetch...he is super smart and responds to reward training really well. We walk him twice a day for 15-20mins and we can play fetch in our local park, he’s recall is strong. We have a good supply of stuffed Kongs in our freezer, which we use when we need him to relax or keep him busy while we’re doing the laundry etc.
    Our trainer has said this behavior is over excitement/stress and to identify what is causing excitement and manage it from there but he does it as soon as we enter the room and will do it again out of nowhere it seems. I presume we are what is causing his excitement. I use “park your puppy”(rewards on his mat) to try settle him before he does it and do short play sessions and then park him again, which works but as soon as I take my attention off him he does it again. We’ve tried turning our backs, putting him outside for timeout (that’s getting hard to do because he’s so big!), putting a toy in his month before he gets a chance, leaving the room as soon as he does it...none of this is working, in fact he’s getting worse. I look forward to the late evening because when he is sleepy I can spend relaxed time with him.
    Any advice would be great appreciated!
    Kindest regards
    Aideen
     
  2. Aideen Gleeson

    Aideen Gleeson Registered Users

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    Hi again,
    I forgot to mention, Cooper doesn’t do it to my husband. Stephen works in the evening so he is with him for most of the day. I’m on studying leave from work since before we had him. My hours are varied, I could be at home one day, a half day the next and then gone for most of the following day. I wonder if my varied routine causes him stress?

    Thanks again
    Aideen
     
  3. Aideen Gleeson

    Aideen Gleeson Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2019
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    Update: jump/nip/hump free day today!
    We doubled up on stuffed kongs. We gave Cooper a kong when we came into to him for the first time (both me and Jude); he got a stuffed kong straight after his walks and we gave him more down time. We kept his play/training short and left him with Stephen before he got excited. Hopefully this will break the habit he seems to have developed with myself and Jude!
    He's doing good on his walks, a bit of pulling but we stop when the lead goes tight and he seems to be getting that. The lead is looser for a bit longer as the weeks go on.
    He's doing really well in other areas too; furniture is intact (apart from a chair he demolished at about 4 months and one skirting board he's found of!); he sleeps in his crete all night; he's fully toilet trained; he's good with other dogs; he's good with our cat (she's not mad about him though!); he doesn't bark a whole lot and he loves his training and play.
    Once we work this out of him it'll be on and up. Im ready for these bruised arms to heal!
    I'll keep you updated
     
  4. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    May 26, 2018
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Blackmans Bay, Australia
    hi @Aideen Gleeson

    I must confess I got a little lost in trying to work out who were all of the players.I think I've worked it out. But I really did get lost in what behaviour you are struggling with?

    Is it

    1. stay on mat?
    2. stop jumping up?
    3. stop getting excited?
    4. stop biting?
    5. stop humping?

    or all of the above?
     
  5. Aideen Gleeson

    Aideen Gleeson Registered Users

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    Jan 9, 2019
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    Hi @Michael A Brooks

    Thanks for the reply.

    Im not sure if you saw my first post? I've copied a paragraph from it explaining the issue:

    "Our 6 month male lab, Cooper, has been jumping/nipping/humping myself and my son as soon as we come into his company. It’s not aggressive but it is quite franzied and his nips are painful and have left bruising.
    Cooper has been doing this to my son for about a month now and he started doing it to me about 2 weeks ago. As soon as we come into the kitchen he jumps and wraps his paws around us, nips our arms and then tries to hump. It’s gotten to the stage that when ever we don’t have our attention on him fully with commands he does it again. He was also doing this to my 10 year old daughter but he is so big and strong that we only have her in his company when he is getting stuck into a Kong, out on a walk or sleepy in the evening."


    So basically, as soon as myself and Jude (17 year old son) come into Cooper's company, he jumps at us, nips our arms and humps, all at the same time. When we try to remove him, he gets frenzied and bites. It seems aggressive but it's not, it's over exitement but he is really hurting us.

    In reply to your queries:

    1. No problem with staying on the mat, once he is calm.

    2. Jumping on it's own is not a problem, he will go into "sit" quickly when asked, once he is calm.

    3, 4 and 5 are the issue and are combined. When he gets over excited he bites and humps. Seeing myself or Jude causes the over excitement, regardless of his activities beforehand. Even if he has been asleep beforehand he will try it.

    He tried it with me this morning but I had a stuffed kong ready and settled him in his crete. I haven't been in his company since.

    Are we ok to offer him a stuffed kong everytime we preempt this behaviour? Or will he expect a kong from us everytime he sees us forever more?? I don't want to replace one bad habit with another? I suppose, we are unsure to what level we can use food distraction to divert bad behaviour.

    Any advise would be great appreciated.

    Regards
    Aideen
     
  6. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Location:
    Blackmans Bay, Australia
    Hi @Aideen Gleeson

    Essentially you have to teach the dog that good things come from being calm. Put her on a leash when your husband and son come home. A distance more than the lead's length from the door opening. Tie her to a heavy piece of furniture. You dont give the dogs any treats nor do you cue any behaviour. Your husband has to do it all.

    Your husband walks towards the dog. If the dog starts jumping towards your husband or biting, then your husband turns his back and walks away. Does not look at the dog. He feigns that he is upset. When dog has calmed try again., husband smiling as he walks towards the dog. If dog remains calm, then husband gives a treat. I suspect that will not happen immediately. So reset and repeat until the dog shows the smallest inkling that calmness means your husband will approach. Crazy behaviour and he turns away.

    Now if the dog does remains calm and your husband gets to the distance where the dog is at the end lead,, don't get greedy expecting that all is solved. Meaning? Give a treat before the dog restarts her jumping. Don't hang around and not feed the dog treats. Instead treat after treat as long as the dog stays calm. Duration is a new criterion and has to be taught. As soon as dogs loses the plot and starts jumping and biting then husband walks away again.

    You might need quite a few sessions because your dog has a history of being uncontrollable when your husband first comes home.

    What you are doing is time out, except that you are leaving the dog rather than putting the dog in a quiet area.
     
  7. Aideen Gleeson

    Aideen Gleeson Registered Users

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    Messages:
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    Hi @Michael A Brooks

    Thank you for the advise. We will put that into place stright away. We haven't used the lead inside the house yet, makes perfect sense!
    Ill let you know how we get on.

    Much appreciated
    Aideen
     

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